Data visualization: A wise investment in your big data future

With big data there’s potential for great opportunity, but many retail banks are challenged when it comes to finding value in their big data investment. For example, how can they use big data to improve customer relationships? How – and to what extent – should they invest in big data?

In this Q&A with Simon Samuel, Head of Customer Value Modeling for a large bank in the UK, we examine these and other big data issues that confront retail bankers.

Simon Samuel, Head of Customer Value Modeling for a large bank in the UK, talks about big data issues confronting banks.


Is there one key thing retail bankers can get from big data?

Samuel: Better relationships with our customers. We need to understand how the customer interacts with the retail bank – that’s across all the touch points – the Internet, their mobile devices, and the branch. And we need to understand the customer behavior across all products – their credit cards, current accounts and investments. Analyzing the big data we have can help us do that and provide more appropriate products and more individualized customer support.

Why data visualization?

Being able to visualize the data is important today, and it’s going to be even more important going forward. Executives are demanding more visualization tools to help them support their insight and analysis and also to accelerate their understanding of the key business drivers.

And data visualization is going to change the way our analysts work with data. They’re going to be expected to respond to issues more rapidly. And they’ll need to be able to dig for more insights – look at data differently, more imaginatively. Data visualization will promote that creative data exploration.

Will data visualization change the way we interact with data?

Absolutely. Analysts will be looking for deeper insights within the data. And the tools will enhance an executive’s ability to access data and its insights more directly.

In many industries, mobile use is creating great opportunities. Of course that also means there’s even more data to analyze. How do you see mobile affecting retail banking?

Mobile data does hold lots of opportunities, from geographical insights to real-time support for our customers across multiple devices. We’ve seen a slow uptake in mobile banking except within a small segment of customers and in select geographical areas. It’s probably a number of years before mobile is a true competitor to the standard retail banking model.

Finally, what do you see as the future of big data in retail banking?

Monetization of big data is the way forward in retail banking, especially when it comes to partnering with retailers. It will help us provide customers with personalized interactions with individual retailers.

Big data is definitely going to provide the retail banker with many opportunities. Going forward I think we need to prioritize our investment in big data – we need to put a real focus on integrating our unstructured and structured data. Banks will get the most return on their investment in big data as long as they know, in a tangible way, where to find the value it holds. Data visualization can help make that happen.

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Contributions to this article were also made by Darren Harris and Ann Morgan, SAS United Kingdom

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